Sunday, September 22, 2013

Advance Preview: THE OTHER DEAD

OD logo cover

THE OTHER DEAD #1  (IDW, release date September 25, 2013)    Writer / Co-Creator: Joshua Ortega, Digger T Mesch.  Art: Quing Ping Mui.  Colors: Blond.  Letters: Tom B. Long.  Edits: Tom Waltz.  Creative Consultant: Kevin Eastman.  Based on a film treatment by Digger T Mesch.  Covers: Logo cover by Reynir Hauksson;  Obama cover by Dave Dorman;  Zombie turtles cover by Kevin Eastman & David Millgate.

          THE OTHER DEAD received some unexpected advance publicity from an unlikely source a few weeks ago when all copies were held up in U.S. Customs on their way to the United States via an Asian printer.  The book did not debut on September 11 as scheduled and rumors circulated that it was due to the controversial variant cover featuring an armed and angry President Obama.  The Customs’ office explanation (that they were spraying for moths) was doubted, and the conspiracy theories helped peak curiosity for the book, probably ensuring that it will sell out on the release date, now scheduled for September 25, 2013.

OD obama cover

          There is new interest in the book as a result, and speculation on whether the contents will justify all the attention.  I’m happy to report that THE OTHER DEAD is a gritty, gruesome but fresh take on the well-worn zombie genre that contains a sufficient element of satire to induce some chuckles along with the shivers.  Far from predictable, it moves along at a rapid pace as it mixes a little fun in with the suspense and terror.  Its worth your checking out, and by all means try to obtain a copy of the awesome Obama cover by renowned artist Dave Dorman.

OD deer

          Things begin in shotgun fashion as a Texas trio of deer hunters (one with a familiar face) bring down their prey in one explosive kill shot to the head.  There’s a quick political in-joke to ease the tension, occurring just moments before the now angry prey gets back up.  The captioned narration talks about the beginnings of the infection, and concludes that it may have been airborne, “like an air of death had been carrying on the wind, just waiting for the right gust to push it all the way.”

          There’s a huge handful of creative talent working on this book - - Joshua Ortega (Gears Of War, Star Wars Tales); Digger T Mesch (Agent 88, founder of Art Asylum); and Kevin Eastman (co-creator of TMNT and current publisher of Heavy Metal magazine) - - and they vigorously inject new life into familiar and somewhat dormant subject matter.  But what really propels THE OTHER DEAD into a higher gear is the amazing art of Qing Ping Mui.  It’s an original style, but comparing it to some other artists will help those unfamiliar with Mui (as I was) get an idea of how visually stunning his work is:  take the photo-realistic style of Leonardo Manco and Steve Epting and put an edge on it similar to Frank Quitely and Carlos Magno.  The attention to detail is impressive, and Mui enhances the hysterical mood through incredibly expressive facial reactions.  He transfers that same expressive look to the faces of the animals as well, helping to heighten the sense of impending doom that disturbs the human characters.  And, if someone wants to script a comic about a strip club pole dancer they really need Mui to visualize it for them.

          Following the bloody opening scenes, THE OTHER DEAD puts the pedal to the metal and doesn’t let off the gas until the final panel.  Issue #1 is a whirlwind-paced prelude to what comes next.  The rest of the activity takes place in Louisiana, which is about to be devastated by another ferocious hurricane just as the infected animal activity begins to fester.  The major characters include the members of a struggling death metal band who decide to break into a breeding pen of ducks and see if a blood bath can revive their music, the leader’s dancer girlfriend and her roommate, the President of the United States (depicted as Barack Obama, but not identified by name) and young Tommy.  Tommy is the most sympathetic of all these characters and also the narrator voice in the captions.

OD turtle cover

          There’s an early moment of dread when Tommy hurls his bacon and eggs breakfast (nice spatter detail) and we wonder if he has ingested breakfast made from infected animals.  But Tommy seems to be suffering from his own illness (possibly terminal).  As illustrated by Mui, he appears a little pasty-faced and weary, as if feeling the effects of radiation treatment or chemo-therapy.

          During the U.S. Customs delay and my news article about it ( see )  I also challenged the creators’ claims to being the first to feature animal infestation in a zombie tale, referring to THE FINAL PLAGUE (begins and spreads through rats) among others. I now realize that their claim is valid.  The zombie plague in THE OTHER DEAD will be confined to the animal kingdom, and this six-issue series will be primarily about humans trying to survive as more and more animal species turn into flesh craving zombies.  This is what differentiates THE OTHER DEAD from other zombie books that feature animals - - the protagonist is the animal kingdom, and not infected humans.

          I also would not be surprised to see PETA file a complaint regarding the inhumane and cruel abuse of animals in Issue #1.  They should realize that it’s only a comic book, and no actOD issue 2ual animals were harmed in the production of THE OTHER DEAD.  In fact, with the exception of the zombie gator that chomps down on an infected duck, its cruelty to animals that seems to trigger the disease in the deer and ducks in Issue #1.  There’s a message/warning to humans here . The animal kingdom is long overdue their come-uppance.  PETA would be pleased.


It also seems that THE OTHER DEAD was held up in U.S. Customs not because of the Obama variant cover but because they really did need to spray the shipment for moths.  It’s ironic and amusing that a book about zombie animals is delayed because of concerns about what disease or infection the moths might spread. Grounded in reality, perhaps?

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Game Project: Lovecraft’s creatures invade tablets, etc.

EDITOR’S NOTES:  I must receive solicitations for an average of three Kickstarter campaigns per week. While I support this method of raising funds for creative efforts, it’s impossible to donate on a regular basis. So I choose them carefully and try to avoid posting here every time I contribute - - I prefer to reserve that for what I consider the “extra special” projects.  This recent project is of special interest, so I’m going to share some information about it with you . . . . . .


Here’s is the web link to a generous amount of information about the game, if you prefer to explore that on your own  . . . . .

Otherwise, read on . . . . . . .


The newest creation from renowned French publisher Byook  is  THE MOANING WORDS, an innovative reading and gaming experience based on the eerie  Cthulhu Mythos of  author H.P. Lovecraft and other creators of weird fiction.  The game will be free to play, and was developed by Byook in partnership with author Alan Dean Foster.

dagon card

THE MOANING WORDS is a vast and dark investigation into this world and is comprised of 18 episodes or chapters.  Foster’s story contains the game within it, involving interactive storytelling, decision-making and cooperation with other readers, a narrative card game, and illustrated riddles.  THE MOANING WORDS will be available on smartphones, tablets, and computers.  

My first exposure to THE MOANING WORDS occurred while attending the NECRONOMICON (H.P. Lovecraft convention) in Providence, Rhode Island August 22-25, 2013.  Author Alan Dean Foster read from the first chapter during a presentation there, with a question and answer session that followed.


Foster’s opening narrative of the story quickly establishes the uneasy setting and atmosphere, with an incident that occurs along a river walkway in France.  The story takes place in contemporary times in various global settings and involves three  main characters:  a French poet/education student;  a female archaeology student; and a descendant of Russian origin. 

During the question and answer session, Foster explained that there were no structural constraints placed upon his writing. He was given complete freedom with the story.  After writing the entire story, the collaboration with Byook began.  Foster’s story is the template that the game was built upon.   Players can read and manipulate the novel at the same time.  Foster wrote all the dialogue and then Byook developed the alternatives.  Each chapter has a minimum of 4 permutations.


In THE MOANING WORDS, you are in charge of the story. As you shape your own adventure you will face hundreds of challenging decisions, and experience one of many different endings. Your choices can change everything. With your decisions you can modify the entire narrative, negotiate with characters, develop deep relationships between your favorite protagonists, and collect items.

In each episode, you can invite your friends to unlock additional choices, secrets, special rewards, and bonuses. Recruit your contacts from Facebook or the Game Center and experience the story together in a brand new interactive way. With your friends, influence the fate of the three protagonists. Finally, share and compare your adventures.

Play and alter destiny in THE MOANING WORDS.  The investigation is enriched with narrative gameplay experiences.  Each
episode will challenge  reasoning and critical thinking skills.
The narrative card game battles within the game have the power to alter the course of  the story. Winning/losing will result in drastic consequences.

Here is an example taken from the app:
During the second episode of the investigation, the card game will
influence the murderous intents of one of the characters. The card
game’s result will decide whether the killer surrenders to his blood
lust or not. Will you be skilled enough to save the victim?
THe  illustrated riddles help to intensify your involvement during the story, sometimes as brain-teasers.
Solving these mysteries will allow you to progress through the investigation.

In addition to this, readers/players will also be able to:

  • Discover tons of interactive stories written by the community
  • Write your own interactive tale with our free tool and share it in the app.
  • Read original stories from H.P Lovecraft enriched with pictures and sound effects.
  • Get challenged in unlimited Card battles to collect more than 100 cards. With each card, unlock a Secret File about the whole Cthulhu Mythos

About Alan Dean Foster
Alan Dean Foster is an American author, writer of science fiction with many series to his credit.  He was a writer for the Star Wars series as well as an author of many “Lovecraftian” tales.

Created in 2009, BYOOK is a publisher of enhanced reading experiences.  We believe our apps will revolutionize reading habits.  The team is composed of talented graphic designers, skilled developers, and mobile app and video game marketing and sales experts.  Today we want to innovate again by creating a reading experience with heavy gaming experience and interactive storytelling.

THE MOANING WORDS is a little over halfway towards reaching the $20,000 Kickstarter goal. The money is intended to cover production costs mainly, with the campaign ending in one week.  The producers have put together some new rewards for all backers every time they raise an additional $666 dollars.  That will take 15 steps to reach the $10,000 needed to complete the campaign. When each step is reached, all contributors receive one or more additional cards, all exclusives. There are up to 27 additional cards to collect, which will be delivered either by mail or digital (ready-to-print).

 Media - Image

There is also a referral program to reward contributors to help spread the work.  Full details are on THE MOANING WORDS website, but the illustration below explains some of the details.

  • Media - Image

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Buried Treasure: Older books worth digging for - - - KIRBY: GENESIS mini-series


KIRBY: GENESIS #0 – 8 (Dynamite Entertainment 2011-2012) Written by Kurt Busiek. Art Direction, Layouts and Covers by Alex Ross. Art by Jack Herbert and Alex Ross. Colors by Vinicius Andrade. Letters by Simon Bowland. Story by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross. Featuring the concepts and characters of Jack Kirby.

          The credits page of every issue contains a short message right after the creator listings: “Dedicated to the legacy of Jack Kirby, King of Comics.”   From every cover to every panel of every issue of this dynamic mini-series KIRBY: GENESIS pays loving tribute to that legacy.   Kirby fans and enthusiasts already know this and most likely have a coveted set of this series.   For others who have heard of the legendary man, this serves as a respectful introduction to the power of his imagination and incredible creativity.   It serves as a great starting point for those who plan to seek out collected editions of Jack Kirby’s work for Marvel, DC, and many other publishers.   The KIRBY: GENESIS series will further serve to enhance the appreciation for those who are well aware of Jack Kirby’s role in the evolution of modern comics (side by side with Stan Lee, the other monarch).

          Imagine the scope and complexity of this writing assignment: take all of Kirby’s late career creations from the smaller publishers (Topps, Pacific, Eclipse, Genesis West, etc) and combine them all together in one big crossover saga!   There are not many comics writers up to that challenge. Kurt Busiek was an awesome choice of scripter for this series, and he doesn’t disappoint.   He manages to mix all the wild and wonderful characters together and still keep the story tight and coherent.   You don’t need a road map or previous familiarity with these characters to follow this story.   Busiek was more than ready to tackle this, having earned his chops with a long run on AVENGERS for Marvel and ASTRO CITY, his own super-hero universe for DC.


          Anytime the marvelous Alex Ross takes time away from his amazing cover creations to work on the interior of a comic is time to seek out that book and buy it.   While Ross did not illustrate every issue of this massive series, he did provide layouts for artist Jack Herbert.   While Herbert has his own style (it also has a painted/photographic look, but not as intense as Ross) it will remind you that the Ross touch is evident throughout this book. Herbert’s choice of oddly shaped angular and diagonal panels makes it easier to jam characters together and helps indicate the huge scale during the action/battle scenes.   The colors and inks throughout this series are very vivid and superbly defined.

          A detailed plot summary would require one full page, but would also sacrifice some of the sense of discovery and wonderment.   You need to be awestruck without assistance from this reviewer.   Suffice to say, it’s a world threatening development that brings all these Kirby characters to Earth.   Some have good intentions.   Some do not.   There are three important elements to the Busiek story that make this series so memorable.   They are:

1) The way that Busiek connects all the dots.   Busiek utilizes some Kirby history at the root of the series, which becomes the catalyst for the events that occur and the reason why Earth becomes a gathering ground.   In 1972, NASA launched the Pioneer 10 Space Probe to explore Jupiter and beyond. Jack Kirby designed and illustrated a plaque that became part of the Pioneer 10 cargo, available for any alien life to discover and learn about Earth.   Kirby’s plaque contained an image of two costumed male and female superheroes, hand in hand with Earth in the background.   Busiek describes Kirby’s vision perfectly in the #0 issue introductory captions:  “One artist felt that humanity’s self-image has always spoken more truthfully about us than bare reality - - - - that the best way to show who we are, to show our innate idealism, spirit and drive - - was through our dreams.   Through the exuberant, self-confident, powerful images in which we’ve clothed ourselves since time immemorial.”    The first images that Earthlings see of the visitors are gigantic disembodied ghostly representations of this same couple that hover in the skies and silently observe.   It’s a marvelous touch and a powerful template for the entire series.

2) Busiek’s new characters.   The #0 issue preview also states their importance:  “To help guide readers through the series are three protagonists whose lives intersect with a fantastic new landscape. Father and daughter Jake and Bobbi Cortez and their friend, aptly named Kirby, are pulled into a universe of amazing creatures, magic, aliens, and world-changing events.”   Both Bobbi and Kirby are twelve when first introduced, long time friends now discovering their attraction and devotion to each other may be entering a new phase.   They are energetic, open-minded, naïve to a large extent, and full of the sense of wonder that youth brings so well.   Kirby is a junior astronomer, grounded in fantasy, science-fiction and comics.   Bobbi is a budding beauty and a fun-loving socialite doing her best to inject some adventure/excitement into her friend’s too serious demeanor as Issue #1 opens up with both now in their freshman college years.   They make the perfect guides for readers, with father Jake complimenting the mix as the perfect guide for the alien visitors.   His career as a city policeman serves him well as he becomes involved in assisting on the battlefield.

3) A satisfying conclusion, subject to reader interpretation.   Readers will be glad to learn that KIRBY: GENESIS doesn’t conclude by leading up to the next series, as so many mini-series/crossovers today seem to do.   Resolution of the problem/conflict occurs, with one of the most unexpected and least powerful of the characters playing a prominent role.   (Some readers will be reminded of Busiek’s masterpiece AVENGERS FOREVER mini-series).   The ending also recalls the very opening passages of this series, where some astral visitors telepathically ask Earthlings = “Show Me.”   The difference between people from Earth and people from the stars is answered, and that difference provides the solution.   Some readers of a religious bent will be pleased at the way this can be interpreted.   Other readers may smile in recognition (as I did) at the more ordinary answer, which is very Kirbyesque and again recalls that tidbit of history that Busiek frames the entire series around. Brilliant.


Dynamite also published three mini-series based on Kirby creations, and spun them off from the KIRBY:GENESIS series. They are CAPTAIN VICTORY, DRAGONSBANE and SILVER STAR, all released in 2011 or 2012.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

More costume images from Baltimore Comic Con


Here are some of the costumes that caught my eye at Baltimore Comics Con when I had a camera in my hand.  Let’s begin with the prize winner below, followed by some colorful and familiar characters.























341                    340


BCC Costume Contest Winners

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

Baltimore Comic-Con Announces 2013 Costume Contest Winners

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - September 12, 2013 - The Baltimore Comic-Con is happy to announce the winners of the 5th Annual Costume Contest. The contest took place this past Sunday, September 8, 2013 and saw a myriad of incredible and creative costumes. With costumes ranging from classic superheroes to video game characters and beyond, the contest has proven to be one of the most anticipated events at the show.

The grand prize winner for Best Overall Costume, and the recipient of the $1,000 cash prize, was Aaron Thompson for his "Jake Sully from Avatar" costume.

Winners for this year's contest include:

Best Over-all Costume: Aaron Thompson, Jake Sully from Avatar

Fan Favorite: Adam Close, Mannly Cyrus

Male Contestants
1st Place - Paul Day, Iron Man Hulkbuster
2nd Place - Dale Horey, Pain from Warhammer
3rd Place - Robert Tongue, Steam Punk Fett

Female Contestants
1st Place - Caroline Jones, Princess Daisy
2nd Place - Crystal Trezza, Steampunk Iron Maiden
3rd Place - Carlin Gayer, Aragorn

Youth Over 12
1st Place - Dominic, Gordan Freeman
2nd Place - Maryse, Storm
3rd Place - Duncan, Psycho-Borderlands

Youth Under 12
1st Place - Owen, Robin Hood
2nd Place - Tristin, Captain Rex from Star Wars Clone Wars
3rd Place - Arielle, Poison Ivy

Best Group
1st Place - Exiles
2nd Place - Tintin
3rd Place - Castle Crushers

Special thanks go to everyone who entered the contest and showed their support, as well as to our sponsor,!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Winston Way,Oxford,United States

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What About The Baltimore Comic Con?

There would be several articles already posted here if I wasn't so freaking busy!
Who needs sleep, anyway?
In the meantime, enjoy this photo of Rick Campbell's young sons in the outfits he made for them. If not for a parking lot accident (only the car was injured) they would have entered the costume competition on Sunday at BCC.

Who says Superman and General Zod can't get along? It just requires a little Bobba Fett intervention!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 11 release of THE OTHER DEAD delayed

I admit to being skeptical when I received this news.  So I wrote back to my contacts who took the time to reply right back to me.  What sounds too funny to be true has been verified.   . . .. from the official press release . . . . . . .  .

9/11 Release of Obama “The Other Dead” #1 Cover Held Up By Customs

Fans and Media Watching Closely As This Story Unfolds

LOS ANGELES, CA--September 9, 2013—The Other Dead (IDW Publishing) comic’s creative team just received word that their book, slated to release on 9/11, is being held up in Customs “to spray for moths.”  The timing is conspiracy theory-level suspicious, given the fact that the book’s one-in-10 variant cover by Eisner and Inkpot Award-winning artist Dave Dorman portrays President Obama wielding guns, just as the President is currently considering military action against Syria.  “At first I thought Customs said they were spraying for Mothra, which was ironic since the books were being held up in Asia, and this is a sci-fi horror comic about deadly creatures,” quipped Dorman.  “But the timing of this delay is suspect.”

Creators Joshua Ortega (Gears of War), Digger T. Mesch (Art Asylum, Mini Mates), Kevin Eastman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Heavy Metal) and IDW Publishing are left to wonder when the book will hit retail shelves.   The Other Dead is the first in the zombie genre to tell the tale of a zombie plague hitting the animal world, and the unexpected effect this has on the world.

The Other Dead creative team is continuing to monitor the situation and will update the media as they learn of the retail fate of The Other Dead Issue #1.

The other thing about this that had me wondering is the statement that this is the “first in the zombie genre to tell the tale of a zombie plague hitting the animal world, and the unexpected effect this has on the world.”   THE FINAL PLAGUE published by Action Lab Comics deals with a zombie plague spread by rabid-like rodents and just published Issue #2 approximately one month ago.  Maybe it would be more accurate to state that THE OTHER DEAD is the first mainstream publisher’s book that deals with animal zombie infestation to be widely distributed to national comics stores.  (Since Action Labs is a much smaller independent company and depends even more on pre-orders to find its way into the comics reading world.)

LATE BREAKING NEWS: I just heard back from co-creator Jose Ortega, who responded to my question about who was first with animal zombie stories: "Oh yeah, and Michael, while Final Plague is hitting shelves first, The Other Dead was announced by Newsarama in the summer of 2011: "We've also been promoting it since Long Beach Comic-Con in 2010, so I think Other Dead still has a pretty good chance at being "the first" to do it at this level in many ways (though Palmiotti's Last Resort had some of that element in 2010, and the video game Red Dead Redemption had a zombie DLC with animals."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Baltimore Comic Con: Day Two Highlights

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND SEPTEMBER 8, 2013: You can expect to see some longer articles here on various presentations, etc. at the Baltimore Comics Con in future posts. In the meantime, here are some highlights (based on my obviously subjective opinions) of Day Two:

• I heard the details on how Seth Goldman of Honest Tea Co. was partner in developing a business book on how to start a small company - - a book that is good enough to make the required reading of all entrants into the Yale School Of Business. What’s unique about the book (“Mission In A Bottle”) - - and why it was a featured presentation during a comics convention - - is that it’s a graphic novel.
• MIKE MIGNOLA is living the dream. During a Question & Answer session, Mike admitted that “I just want to be left alone to do my thing.” And, Dark Horse does exactly that. More details to follow.
• MIKE CAREY was the most literary of the creators I heard during the Con. His roots in comics and literature were traced during a very informative presentation with some very serious questions that resulted in Carey going deep and complex. End result is a renewed appreciation for his work and a compulsion to go find some old trade paperbacks of LUCIFER.
• IDW brought out quite the entourage for their panel and revealed a number of interesting projects for the balance of 2013 and into 2014. More details to follow. Please watch this space so you don’t miss it.
• The Annual Costume Competition was bigger than ever, and super crowded. It’s now a three hour event, and I don’t want to devote that much time to just one thing during the convention, so I stayed away. During a couple breaks I ventured down the hallways and saw some of the characters. Snapped a few photos of camera-worthy costumes that I hadn’t seen before.
• BRAIN WOOD obtained an art degree with the intention of breaking into comics as an illustrator. I learned how he did an about face during a rather serious panel. At least that was my impression, as Wood seemed a little tense and cautionary in his explanations. (Or, maybe just tired. He has done a lot of work lately.)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Winston Way,Oxford,United States

The SAGA of the 2013 Harvey Awards

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND SEPTEMBER 7, 2013: The 26th Annual Harvey Awards were presented tonight as part of the Baltimore Comic Con during a dinner at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. One title and its’ creative and art team ran away with most of the honors. While that’s a remarkable achievement, it’s a little disappointing that its’ dominance in the voting meant that several deserving books and creators had to settle for just being nominated. More details will follow, but here is the short list. (This is not the order of presentation, but the order in which most readers will have more interest.)

BEST WRITER = Brian K. Vaughan, SAGA, Image Comics

BEST ARTIST = Fiona Staples, SAGA, Image Comics







BEST INKER = Klaus Janson, CAPTAIN AMERICA, Marvel Comics

BEST COLORIST = Fiona Staples, SAGA, Image Comics

BEST COVER ARTIST = David Aja, HAWKEYE, Marvel Comics








BEST SYNDICATED STRIP OR PANEL = DICK TRACY, Joe Staton and Mike Curtis, Tribune Media Services





- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Washington Blvd,Baltimore,United States

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Baltimore Comic Con. - - - Day One

Just wanted to share some quick comments about the 14th Annual Baltimore Comic Con with our readers. Knowing that some well-read comics websites will be posting lengthy articles on today's panels as soon as they end, I wanted to leave something for our readers.

The big news is that the 15th BCC in 2014 will be a three day event, beginning on Friday, September 5th and occupy even more areas of the Baltimore Convention Center. Without knowing the official head count, it seemed like the crowd was extremely large this year. The lines are longer. The wide aisles are easy to navigate only if you are anorexic.

Highlights: Bryan JL Glass has a different super-hero miniseries coming from Dark Horse. The career retrospective on George Perez ran over. No wonder! There is so much to tell. He's a future Hall Of Famer for sure. Valiant has some big things in the offing, including a bold way to thank comics stores for their support. Mark Waid and Barry Kitson have obtained the rights to their EMPIRE collaboration, so there may be new works to come. More about the above items in the days to come.

I'm departing now to attend my first Harvey Awards dinner and I'm excited!


Mike C

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Washington Blvd,Baltimore,United States

Friday, September 6, 2013

BCC Announcement: Dynamite revives Doc Savage

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

September 6, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ - Baltimore Comic Con Announcement - Dynamite is proud to announce signing a new agreement with Condé Nast that will bring back the legendary man of action Clark Savage Jr. in an all-new Doc Savage comic book series scheduled to debut in December 2013. The second project developed as part of their licensing partnership with Condé Nast, the new Doc Savage follows on the heels of their top-selling comic book series, The Shadow, and its related spin-off titles.

Chris Roberson, acclaimed comic book writer of Masks and iZombie, joins talented artist Bilquis Evely as the contributing creators. The first issue will feature a cover by superstar painter Alex Ross (Kingdom Come, Marvels, Masks), with special variant cover editions also provided by John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men, Uncanny Avengers) and Stephen Segovia (X-Treme X-Men).

"In the course of my comics career, I've been lucky enough to work on nearly every character and series that mattered the most to me growing up," says the New York Times bestselling author, Chris Roberson. "Doc Savage is one of the final characters left on my bucket list. Growing up in the 70s, it was impossible to miss the Doc Savage reprints in every bookstore and on every newsstand, with those striking covers. Doc quickly became and remained my absolute favorite of all of the pulp heroes, and the stories of Lester Dent were a huge influence on my own writings."

Readers were first introduced to the pulp adventures of Doc Savage in 1933, courtesy of Doc Savage Magazine by Street and Smith Publications. Raised from the cradle to be the pinnacle of mental and physical perfection, Clark Savage Jr. travels the world using science and sinews to right wrongs, aid the oppressed, and liberate the innocent. With his team of able associates at their headquarters high atop the tallest building in the world, he is tireless in his pursuit of knowledge and justice. "In many ways, Doc Savage was one of the most significant precursors of comic book superheroes, and action heroes of the 20th century in general," says Roberson. "You can see elements of the character in everything from Superman to Batman, the Fantastic Four to James Bond."

Doc Savage tales appeared regularly in a variety of media (including novels, comic books, radio serials, and film) over the eighty years since the character's inception. The setting of the new Doc Savage comic book series is fitting, as the breadth of its action extends over many decades. "The story we're telling is pretty sweeping in scope," says Roberson. "We start in 1933, soon after Doc Savage made his first public appearance. The next issue takes place in the late 1940s, shortly after the last published issue of the Doc Savage pulp magazine. The third issue jumps forward to the early 1960s, and so on. Each of these issues will be self-contained adventures that gradually piece together into one larger story spanning some 80 years. The approach we're taking is, just because the magazine was no longer being published, that doesn't mean that Doc wasn't still out there saving the world."

New York Times bestselling writer Chris Roberson is best known for his Eisner-nominated ongoing comic book series iZombie (co-created with artist Mike Allred), his modern fantasy series Memorial (co-created with artist Rich Ellis), the Fables spinoff Cinderella, and his work on Superman, Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes, Masks, and Elric: The Balance Lost. His current projects include Edison Rex with Dennis Culver, The Mysterious Strangers with Scott Kowalchuk, and both Codename: Action and The Shadow as published by Dynamite.

Artist Bilquis Evely is a talented newcomer to the comics scene. Most recently, Evely contributed interior artwork to the Condé Nast-licensed one-shot special comic book, The Shadow Annual 2013, debuting in stores in early September.

"We are so incredibly pleased to add Doc Savage to our proud line of comic books," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and publisher of Dynamite. "Its high adventure in exotic locales, its atmosphere of mystery and magic, and its retro-cool science fiction make for the perfect addition alongside our other Condé Nast mainstay, The Shadow. Chris Roberson is the perfect writer for the series. He'll be presenting Doc's journey from its beginning to now, highlighting his triumphs and loss (including many of his closest friends, who he will outlive), and establishing how Doc made it through the decades and continues his mission in today's society."

Doc Savage #1 will be solicited for retailer order through Diamond Comic Distributors' October Previews catalog, corresponding to items shipping in December 2013. Three accomplished industry artists provide cover variants:

Alex Ross, bestselling and multiple award-winning artist of Kingdom Come, Justice, and Marvels, will provide an iconic cover for Doc Savage #1 and future issues, as well. Dynamite is proud to share the Alex Ross Doc Savage #1 and #2 covers at press time for this announcement.

John Cassaday of Astonishing X-Men and Planetary fame provides a "VIP Edition" variant comic book offered to qualifying comic shop retailers that support the launch with strong orders.

Stephen Segovia (X-Treme X-Men, Adventures of Superman) will provide a variant cover that select stores in the USA, Canada, and the UK may share as a retailer exclusive.

About Dynamite Entertainment:

Dynamite was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more. Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, Purgatori, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt. In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, and a host of up-and-coming new talent. Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles - including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger's Project Superpowers - have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Washington Blvd,Baltimore,United States

More interesting panels at Baltimore Comics Con

. . . . . from the official press releases . . . . . . .

Honest Tea Co-Founder Seth Goldman to Appear at the Baltimore Comic-Con

Honest Tea to Sponsor the Harvey Awards

Seth Goldman BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - September 4, 2013 -Baltimore Comic-Con is pleased to welcome Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman for his only comics event appearance of the year as he talks about his new book, Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently-and Succeeding.  Co-written by Barry Nalebuff and drawn by Sungyoon Choi (American Widow), Mission in a Bottle  tells the story of how two guys attempted to launch a mission-driven business that offered a healthier tea, taking it from brewing tea in their spare time to a multi-million dollar business sold in more than 100,000 outlets worldwide.  It's both an innovative non-fiction comic and a funny, insightful business book.

Mission in a Bottle

Goldman will appear Sunday morning at 11 am in Room 305 to talk about the making of the book, the uses of nonfiction comics, and secrets of entrepreneurship in a panel moderated by The Beat and Publishers Weekly's Heidi MacDonald.

Goldman was profiled this week in the Washington Post, to discuss his many charitable activities and plans to start a business that offers healthier food.  A resident of Bethesda, MD, Goldman is also the co-founder of Bethesda Green, a local sustainability initiative in Honest Tea's hometown.  Bethesda Green has installed dozens of recycling bins in Bethesda, helped create a program for restaurants to convert their grease waste into biodiesel, and created Maryland's first green business incubator.

Mission in a Bottle was published this week by Crown Publishing and is available in bookstores everywhere.

The Harvey Awards are also pleased to welcome Honest Tea as a Gift Bag sponsor.

About Mission in a Bottle:

In an incredibly fun and accessible two-color graphic-book format, the cofounders of Honest Tea tell the engaging story of how they created and built a mission-driven business, offering a wealth of insights and advice to entrepreneurs, would-be entrepreneurs, and millions of Honest Tea drinkers about the challenges and hurdles of creating a successful business--and the importance of perseverance and creative problem-solving.

About Seth Goldman and Honest Tea

Seth Goldman is President and TeaEO of Honest Tea, the company he co-founded out of his home in 1998 with Barry Nalebuff of the Yale School of Management.  Today, Honest Tea is the nation's top selling organic bottled tea, and is carried in more than 100,000 outlets.  In March 2011, Honest Tea was acquired by The Coca-Cola Company, creating a platform for national expansion and helping to further the reach and impact of Honest Tea's mission.  Ever since the enterprise was launched out of Seth's home, the company has been a mission-driven innovator, launching the first organic bottled tea (1999) and the first Fair Trade certified bottled tea (2003).  Today all Honest Tea varieties are organic and Fair Trade certified.  The company continues to be recognized for its mission-driven leadership, commitment to transparency, and unconventional marketing techniques.

In 2008 Seth co-founded Bethesda Green, a local sustainability initiative in Honest Tea's hometown. Bethesda Green has installed dozens of recycling bins in Bethesda, helped create a program for restaurants to convert their grease waste into biodiesel, and created Maryland's first green business incubator.

Seth currently serves on the boards of the American Beverage Association, Bethesda Green, Beyond Meat, Happy Baby, and Repair the World. He also serves on the Honorary Board of Directors for Montgomery County Public Schools Education Foundation, is a member of the Trust for the National Mall Advisory Council, and sits on the Advisory Board of Net Impact.  In 2011, Seth was appointed by Governor Martin O'Malley to the Maryland Economic Development Commission.  He has also served on the boards of the Calvert Foundation, Environmental Leadership Program, Pennsylvania Certified Organic, and Somerset Elementary School Educational Foundation.

Jimmy Palmiotti Joins the Self Publishing Panel Lineup at Baltimore Comic-Con

Palmiotti pic BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - September 4, 2013 - Special guest and legendary inker/writer Jimmy Palmiotti joins the roster of comics creators speaking about their self publishing experiences at the Baltimore Comic-Con this Saturday, September 7th at the Baltimore Convention Center.  The Self Publishing: You Can Do It panel takes place at 2 pm in Room 305. Other panelists include: Alpha Girl Comics publisher and writer Amy Chu (Girls Night Out), George O'Connor (Healed), Danielle Corsetto (Girls With Slingshots, Adventure Time), and Carolyn Belefski (Curls).

The one hour panel is a candid and informal session for new and established writers and artists who are looking to create and distribute their own comics digitally and in print.  Each panelist has a different experience to bring to the discussion. Writers Chu, a former student of Scott Snyder and a Harvard Business School graduate, and O'Connor, an advertising copywriter, will talk about collaboration and business. Artists Carolyn Belefski and Danielle Corsetto will share their experiences in the webcomic space.  And Palmiotti has been extremely successful with a series of Kickstarter campaigns funding his creator-owned titles in the past year.

Update on the Kevin Smith entourage at Baltimore Comic Con

. . . . . from the official press release . . . . . . . .

Special Guests Join Kevin Smith Saturday!

Jason Mewes Moderates SmodCast Superpanel!

Saturday "Jay & Silent Bob" Event Schedule Expanded!

jasbsgcm-poster--400x BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - September 5, 2013 - We are thrilled to announce that we have expanded the Afternoon with Jay & Silent Bob events to include a new panel hosted by the one and only Jason Mewes!  The panel will feature Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson of the award winning podcast Tell 'em SteveDave! along with Mike Zapcic and Ming Chen of I Sell Comics!

This bonus panel is open to all Baltimore Comic-Con ticket holders and will take place at 1:30 pm on Saturday, September 7, 2013. 
The 90 minute panel will be followed by the screening of The Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie and live appearance by Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes.  With the expanded event, the start time of the film will be pushed back to begin at 3:30pm. 

Tell 'em Steve-Dave! & I Sell Comics! come together for an All-Star podcast at Baltimore Comic-Con.  The Podcasts which usually take place in the world famous "Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash" comic book store will make a live appearance podcasting & taking your questions at The Baltimore Comic-Con.  The Secret Stash comic book and novelty store in Red Bank, NJ serves not only as a place for people to buy, sell, or trade cool stuff; but also to hang out and be part of a community that loves comics - and the guys who man the legendary comic book post have plenty of stories to tell. 

The screening of the film, and follow-up discussion, Q&A, and podcast recording with Kevin and Jason - will start at 3:30pm. This is a limited-engagement event and requires additional tickets, which are still available for purchase.

This year's Baltimore Comic-Con will be held September 7-8, 2013. Convention hours are Saturday 10 AM to 7 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM. The ceremony and banquet for the Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, September 7th.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ghastly Recommendations: August 2013 Update

This article is based on information supplied by the Ghastly Awards website . . . . .


BC Refugee Blog acknowledges the good efforts of the Ghastly Awards to recognize outstanding work in Horror Comics every year.  The Ghastly Award Judges work strictly on a volunteer basis. There is no paid staff and the awards are completely funded through sponsor donations.

Prior awards were mostly based on nominations through committee readings.  Beginning in 2013, the Ghastly Awards switched over to a Submission based process.  Comic Creators can submit their books for nomination consideration throughout the calendar year.  The top five nominees in each category will be chosen by the Judges, and will then be voted on by the Judges, Creators and Fans to decide the winners.


ATTENTION COMIC CREATORS:  BC Refugee Blog encourages you to take the time to head over to and submit your work for 2013 Ghastly Award nomination consideration. You can submit your Horror Comic work throughout the calendar year.

For the month of August 2013 the judges are recommending you take a look at:

final plague


The Final Plague #2 (Action Lab) – “When you put animals in a comic you get my attention.  When you put animals in a comic that are rabid and eat people then you really have my attention!  This comic is in the vein of 28 Days Later in terms of spreading an infection from animal to human.  Issue #2 seamlessly picks up where issue #1 left off and for those that haven't had a chance to read issue #1,  I say do it now!  I had such a fun time reading this comic. The writing was on point, engaging and the art really fit with all the various elements that were happening in the comic to create a really great cohesive story and I for one am chomping at the bit for Issue   #3!” Spaced  (


bedlam 8

Bedlam #8 (Image) – “I admit when I first read the first issue of this series I thought of it as little more than a strange pastiche of the Batman/Joker relationship.  But Bedlam has proven to be much, much more.  While there is definitely some influence from the Caped Crusader, Bedlam has managed to create its own world filled with complex and grotesque characters.  The latest arc introduces a terrifying new villain able to seemingly control people from a distance and have them unwittingly commit acts of mass violence, such as public bombings, or more personal attacks - such as those witnessed on the genuinely disturbing final page.  Along the way we peel another layer from the mystery surrounding Fillmore Press - the former serial killer Madder Red - and a surprising revelation about super hero The First.”   – Pedro Cabezuelo (


Godzilla 2


Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #2 (IDW) – “ I love me some kaiju.  So to see Godzilla get the A+ treatment in a new comic book series makes me all sorts of happy inside.  Especially when lettering is so remarkably on-point -- can a drawing be onomatopoeic?   Because with Shawn Lee's gorgeous work, it sure is.  I'm loving the Godzilla vs. a brand new ‘Zilla (picture the T-Rex mutant from 1998’s Godzilla) face off in Honolulu.  Honolulu may lose that fight, but readers win y'all!  Chris Mowry and Matt Frank definitely deliver the goods here, and even with aliens in the final pages (too much of a good thing, maybe?), I'm in this series for the long haul.  You should be too.- Denise Dutton ( )

The End Of The Fucking World [TEOTFW] (Fantagraphics) – TEOTFW is one of those graphic novels that reminds you how simplicity (done well) can really tug at your emotions.  Sometimes more so than really intricately illustrated and worded graphic novels.  TEOTFW iTEOTFWs not about a world apocalypse, but rather an apocalypse of the mind.  I tend toward more esoteric horror than the type of horror that's so in-your-face.  TEOTFW is just that: a kind of avant-garde, esoteric horror that lingers on your mind for days.  It's really's brutally simple while remaining unexplainably complicated.  It takes the most common fears that we are taught to avoid or feel icky about and adds those to simple line drawings and copious amounts of black and white space. The combination is fascinating and dreadfully terrifying.  TEOTFW utilizes our innate fear of things like strangers, sexual predators, bullies, murder, loneliness, feeling lost, dying alone, feeling out of control of your own life--like you might do something that you cannot control, and the "feeling of nothingness" to evoke a sense of dread and wonder.  In fact, there's a strong feeling of dread throughout the entire graphic novel.  If it's the realistic, hard up nature of life that terrifies you, read this graphic novel.  If it's it anyway, you'll still feel the exhilarating panic.” – Bree Ogden ( )


Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn Quarterly) – “Drawn & Quarterly introduces the western world to Japan's coolest, creepiest kid hero character of all time--Kitaro!  Created over half a century ago by manga mastermind Shigeru Mizuki, Kitaro is a kid with an arsenal of supernatural abilities, yokai (ghost) friends, and an eyeball for a father!  He assists humans and horrors alike in keeping the balance between good and evil, with clever, inventive writing and a superb illustration style that can be fun, funny, scary, and downright horrific all within the same panel.  Kitaro is a pop culture phenomenon in his own country, on par with Astro Boy and Ultra Man-- do yourself a favor and check out this collection immediately!” – Steve Banes             (



Five Ghosts #5 (Image) – “Every Sunday night my Twitter feed floods with posts ejaculating over how amazing Breaking Bad is (which is warranted), but I wish the same thing happened in comics because Five Ghosts reaches the same levels of insanity.  Issue #5 concludes the first arc of the series, and what an wild, bat-shit crazy ride it has been.  This comic has everything from horror to mythic fantasy, and the artwork is nothing short of gorgeous.  Frank J Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham are just getting started, and you'd be nuts not to embark on this journey with them.” – Lonnie Nadler (



Dead House #1 (Self Published) – “It's not all about the established comic book companies and their product!  There are plenty of young, hungry creators out there trying to break in and show the world what they have.  A great place to find these people is at Comic Cons.  I ran into artist Brian Flint at the Bosdead houseton Comic Con and picked up a copy of his and writer Mike Spera's Dead House #1, a horror comic whose colorful cover caught my eye.  Flint is a very unassuming guy ("the artwork gets better as the story goes on") who is clearly a fan of the genre.  Dead House is about a reality show (called Dead House, naturally) which is like Survivor with zombie attacks.  While this idea isn't exactly brand new (aren't there at least two television shows with that premise out or in the works?), the comic gets points for a bevy of interesting characters, though most can't get fleshed out in the scant 26 pages.  But this is horror and it delivers what it should... gore and zombies!  The artwork is pretty solid throughout, with bold blacks and lovingly detailed zombie-rot. There are eyes poppin', flesh fallin' and zombies being mangled, exactly what we want in a zombie comic.  There were a few frustrating things in the print comic I bought; some misspellings and a page getting printed twice, but Flint informs me that those errors have since been corrected.  The only other thing I can pick on is the varying lettering.  A silly thing for me to mention but it managed to distract me a bit.  But Dead House is worth a look for zombie fans and this should whet their appetite and hold them over while Flint works on the Graphic Novel, which should flesh out those characters and bring us more horror and gore! This is available as a digital copy at Lulu.”  - Mike Howlett  (



(Ghosted #2 (Image) – Ghosted #2 continues the slow burn pace of the series, established in the first issue.  We are given further background information on the heist team as well as the Trask family through flashback scenes, but we still don't know much about the operation at hand, or what dangers might lay ahead.  There are a few scenes of supernatural activity, but they are short lived and don't really create any tension.  Just when things are starting to heat up, the team leaves the house, safe and sound.  Here's hoping they're trapped after sundown within the next few issues.” - Rachel Deering  (


Rob Sacchetto's Cape Fear OGN (Zombie Portrait Productions) – “Where on Earth has the artwork of Sacchetto been all of my life?  To say that this book is GORE-Geous is seriously an understatecape fearment, because panel after panel it left my jaw on the floor.  It reminded me of Dave Cooper’s style from the Aircel days, with it’s detail in a fun animated style.  The werewolf in this is by far one of the most solid monsters I have ever seen on a page and man I could not get enough of it.  The lettering done is what really pushed this book to get the score that it did though.  The sound effects jump off the page, and add that little extra touch to make this a book not to be missed.  As if the artwork was not enough to pick up this book, I have to mention the story.  At first I was not sure where this one was going, but as the chapters played out, and it all came together, I was hooked.  The concept of a realm where fear is something that one being controls, and that privilege is fought over is very interesting.  Add into that the mix of having Earth totems and how the monsters and people interact, and you have one compelling story.  Do not read this review and think this is a book you should pass on, instead read this and know this is a book you need to check out.  It delivers on all levels and will not let you down for even one second.  This is what we call a hidden gem, so lets all work together to make sure it is hidden no more.  Pick this one up!!!.” - Decapitated Dan (

Creators and Publishers please make sure to go over to to submit your books for 2013 Nomination consideration! More information on how the submission process works can be found here


Founded in 2011 by Decapitated Dan with the help of Steve Banes, Mike Howlett, Lonnie Nadler and Mykal Banta, the Ghastly Awards recognize outstanding achievements in Horror Comics over a range of 15 different categories. The nominees are chosen by other horror comic book professionals and winners are chosen by a panel of judges. Since the start of the awards, 4 more judges have been added into the group.
Named for acclaimed comics creator “Ghastly” Graham Ingles, the awards are in their 2nd year. Created to honor excellence in Horror Comics, every comic creator had a say in who the nominees were by nominating their favorites, throughout the year.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Support the Wounded Warrior Project at Baltimore Comic-Con

from the official press release . . . . . . . . . .

Wounded Warrior Project BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - September 2, 2013 - From September 7th & 8th at the Baltimore Comic-Con, award-winning graphic novelist and illustrator, Robert James Luedke, will be raising awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project, selling originally designed prints whose proceeds will benefit the veteran's charity.

WWPThe WWP's purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members; to help injured service members aid and assist each other; and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members. "This is a wonderful cause that supports those who have put it all on the line for their country, but now are finding it difficult to heal and reintegrate into society, even with the help of our government," said Luedke. Through the efforts of his Facebook group, Artists Supporting the Wounded Warrior Project, Luedke has raised over $24k for the WWP since May of 2012 through silent auctions, live auctions, and prints sales at comic conventions around the country!

Luedke, also known as "Bob the Artist," has been involved in the comic and graphic novel industry since 1995.  From 2004 through 2010, his Eye Witness graphic novel series captured 5 different indie book awards and was a finalist for 5 others.

Luedke will be offering 6 different prints at his tables (A29-30) during the convention, where 100% of the proceeds will benefit the WWP!  For more information about the work of the Wounded Warrior Project, visit:

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

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 25 years, the last 7 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